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Vanguard jilted RIAs 16 years ago. Now its CEO Tim Buckley is green-lighting RIA custody again -- with bells, whistles and added urgency

In a series of emails last week, Vanguard was coy but said its retail RIA platform for 600 staff advisors is getting retrofitted for non-Vanguard RIAs; the potential is huge and the potential pitfalls may be even greater, analysts say

Author Oisin Breen
May 23, 2019 at 6:16 PM
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Tim Buckley is consistent about wanting to steer the Vanguard ship amid the shoals of financial advice and past the company's cultural encumbrances that veer to investor self-direction.

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Top Executive: Michael Kitces

George Papadopoulos

George Papadopoulos

May 24, 2019 — 1:09 PM
I still remember how Vanguard abandoned the RIAs back then! These things sting...even after all these years! Will I trust Vanguard's tech and customer service with my own clients? Hell no! For the record: Been using primarily Vanguard ETFs at custodian TD Ameeitrade and intend to continue...for the foreseeable future. I disagree with Rick about this. Time will tell...as it always does.
Eric Sandrib

Eric Sandrib

May 24, 2019 — 3:10 PM
Just to be clear, the "Assets Managed by Digital Investment Platforms" graph is only referring to direct-to-consumer digital investment platforms. Thus, VPAS for advisors, Betterment for advisors, etc... would not be included in that estimate.
T Lutton

T Lutton

May 24, 2019 — 5:33 PM
Vanguard has so many shortcomings in its technology and available information that it seems difficult to believe they can meet the needs of RIAs. Vanguard's weakness is their IT function which has not improved significantly for years. Fortunately their fund performance ,customer service and low costs have been very positive for Vanguard.
Rick Ferri

Rick Ferri

May 24, 2019 — 6:30 PM
Vanguard will have no problems signing up RIAs for their custodial platform. Why? Because their clients will demand it. Any adviser who has reasonably educated clients know that those clients already have Vanguard accounts.
Rick Ferri

Rick Ferri

May 26, 2019 — 10:59 AM
To clarify, RIA will continue to use Schwab, Fido, TD as their primary custodian. Vanguard will be added as a secondary custodian for new clients who are already at Vanguard and don’t want to leave, and existing clients who have more money at Vanguard and want to keep it there. I agree with others the Vanguard's platform is likely to have weaknesses.

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